Posted: Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

 

https://breedaberm.medium.com/women-the-silent-heroes-of-this-global-pandemic-1060f5c1272d

I meet women every week working on the frontline of this pandemic. Women are disproportionately impacted by covid19 particularly in this 3rd wave where childcare and education have not been prioritized. Something has to change! here is an extract from a blog I  wrote in February 2021.

Women, the Silent Heroes of this Global Pandemic

Nothing happens until somebody moves”

Albert Einstein

I became a fan of statistics a few years back when studying psychology as data is used to drive and argue for policy change along with tracking trends.

This global pandemic is spotlighting issues for women and families that have remained the norm in societies and truly unexamined for years.

Women account for

79% of the healthcare workforce in Ireland.

76% across the U.K. and the European Union

80% in the United States

A recent article in the New York Times points to the fact that millions of women became the most essential workers in the United States.

Yet, they do not have an equal voice in the ranks of LEADERSHIP, with a recent report signaling the percentage of women on Fortune 500 health care executive teams and boards having flatlined since 2015 at around 22%!

When I really reflected on this, it is baffling, the healthcare workforce consists of approximately 80% women-the critical stakeholders, and yet only 22% of women make it to leadership positions where all of the most important policies and decisions are made! What also became apparent was that in countries(Scandinavia) with more female representation in government and on boards issues such as education, childcare and disability services received far greater funding and prioritization.

Research is also emerging highlighting the fact  that women are not only on the frontline of this pandemic professionally, they are disproportionally carrying the burden due to the increased pressure on the domestic front. Fundamentally, the reality is that both formal and informal caring duties (of children, disabled and elderly) still fall on women across the world.

In my work, I meet many of these women in healthcare, who juggle working on the frontline, dressed in PPE for 9–12 hours or longer shifts, risking their health and that of their families every day. They then return home to face home schooling and household duties. On top of this the women I work with are also negotiating perimenopause/menopause often having to manage a cocktail of hot flushes, sweats, sleep deprivation.

Where is the time for self-care, a vital requisite for optimal mental and physical wellbeing.

Covid19 adds to, as well as again highlighting the gender inequalities including structural, social and economic barriers, still faced by women.

As long as informal “care work” continues to be undervalued by governments, societies and policy makers, the cost to those caring (who are predominantly women) in relation to their health, wellbeing and financial status is very high.

As Einstein is reportedly quoted as saying “Nothing happens until someone moves” Women have voices but more of us need to be encouraged or possibly mentored to use them.

One has to ask how much more of the dual challenge, at home and in the workplace can women-the critical stakeholders, actually take, without governments prioritization of childcare and education as this pandemic continues.

Breeda Bermingham/Midlife Women Rock Project Founder

Social Entrepreneur,  Researcher of all things positive about menopause. Changing the story.

What women are saying

  • Now that I have the knowledge, language and confidence to speak openly about menopause, it changes everything

    Angie Co. Cork

  • Silence afflicts too many women's lives – the silence that keeps women from expressing themselves freely, from being full participants even in the lives of their own families

    Hillary Rodham Clinton 1995

  • I highly recommend this 6-week course to any woman wanting to understand menopause and themselves. I personally found it brilliant. It gave me back my confidence in myself. I met a group of open-minded women. There is nowhere women can go to talk with other women about this time in our lives. I have learned not to let menopause define me. I always had thought of it negatively, would never have seen it as a time to open up to new possibilities and opportunities. Breeda covers everything you need to know over the 6 weeks.”

    Anna

  • This programme has helped me become more relaxed and empowered around menopause. I have a great GP and am taking HRT. It’s the information sharing with a group of like-minded women that is very powerful at this time of my life. The course was shared by Breeda in a fun and light-hearted way which reduces any stress or anxiety that one may have. I now have a better understanding of myself with lots of strategies to manage symptoms and would highly recommend this course.”

    Jennifer

  • I would highly recommend this 6-week course. I received so much support from Breeda and the group. It gave me the confidence to move forward. I learned about the physical, mental and spiritual changes that occur during menopause and it all made so much sense. My relationship with myself has grown and I understand so much more now. I feel positive and very optimistic about the future.

    Sinead

  • Attending this 6 week course was a hugely empowering experience. knowledge and education is certainly power. Meeting other women all in the same phase of life supporting one another was fantastic. I learned I have the power and strength to tackle, control and handle my menopause journey my way. I would hghly recommend this course so much. It has enabked me to move forward.

    Gay

  • Before I met Breeda and started this course, I never had a serious conversation about menopause with anyone. I had very little knowledge about menopause. It is either an embarrassing or a comical subject for conversation. Attending the cafes and 6-week course has been life changing. I now know so much more about menopause and understand myself so much better. I have become more pro-active with my health and am looking forward to the next phase of my life. Every woman deserves this information.

    Elaine

  • Breeda has a great way of imparting information. I really enjoyed the 6-week programme and would highly recommend it to any woman who may be curious about what menopause is really all about.

    Ger

Scroll to top